4 Amazing Benefits & Uses of Ponnanganni Keerai For Health, Hair & Skin

When I was younger, though I made a great fuss for eating most of the greens, I used to readily eat ponnanganni keerai. That is because my grandma always kept repeating that if we eat ponnanganni keerai, it will make our body glow like gold. I used to literally take her advice and if anyone offers me any dish made with ponnaganni, I used to eat it readily. True to her words ponnanganni is full of iron, calcium and other vital nutrients that makes our hair and skin glow.

It is called sessile joy weed in English, gudrisag in Hindi and it’s botanical name is Alternanthera Sessilis. The name ponnanganni itself means glow like gold. Ancient books also advice that if we eat ponnanganni daily for a period of 48 days, our body will start glowing. That is because it so rich in vital minerals and nutrients that in that time frame of 48 days, it heals the body of all deficiencies. It is advisable to include ponnanganni keerai at least weekly twice in our diet.

Ponnanganni keerai tastes very delicious when it is cooked with lentlis or made into a soup. You can also make a simple stir fry with ponnanganni and it can be had for lunch along with rice and few drops of homemade ghee. Ponnanganni oil or thailam is very famous in Tamil Nadu and it treats excessive body heat and headaches one experiences during hot summer months.

Here in Tamil Nadu, we get ponnanganni keerai very easily in the markets, if you can’t get ponnaganni keerai, try growing it. It is easier to grow, if you don’t have much garden space, you can grow it in huge pots too, that way you will get fresh greens weekly twice. Most of us neglect these greens because we don’t know how to use it. I have given all the different ways to cook and use this keerai, I hope you will find it useful….

4 Top Ponnanganni Keerai Recipes For Hair, Skin & Health:

1. Ponnaganni Keerai Kootu For Glowing Skin : 

Though we make ponnanganni keerai poriyal often in my home, this Ponnangani kootu is a very very nutritious recipe that we should often make at home. To make it, first boil 1/4 cup of toor dhal along with 1/8 tsp of turmeric powder and few drops of castor oil along with required amount of water in a cooker till it is fully cooked.

In a pan, heat a tsp of sesame oil and season with mustard seeds and cumin seeds and wait for it to splutter. Once it splutters, add finely cut shallots, curry leaves and fry well till the shallots turn golden. Add 1/3 tsp of sambar powder along with cut ponnanganni keerai leaves and fry till the keerai wilts, add water, salt and let it boil.

Once the keerai is cooked, add the boiled toor dhal along with a tbsp of freshly grated coconut. Switch off when it reaches the desired consistency, this kootu is best had with hot rice.

2. Ponnagani Keerai Thailam or Oil:

Ponnanganni keerai thailam is quite popular and is the best home remedy for treating redness of the eyes. If we use it for taking oil bath, our body will remain cool and it will help us get clear eyes. If we watch any child’s eyes, it will be always crystal clear. As we grow older, along with us tensions and stress also grow.

For most of us, our eyes are always slightly red and even on good, stress free days, it is never crystal clear. Oil bath with traditional oils like ponnanganni relaxes our body and eyes so well that with regular use gives crystal clear, bright eyes. To make it, bruise the leaves and heat it along with unrefined sesame oil, strain and use it for oil bath.

3. Ponnaganni Keerai Dosai For Anemia:

This ponnanganni keerai dosai or pancakes is quite tasty, very healthy and regular intake prevents anemia. It also can be made in a matter of minutes and is the ideal way to give ponnanganni keerai to children. To make the dosai, heat a tsp of unrefined sesame oil in a pan.

Add the finely cut ponnanganni keerai and onions along with salt and pepper and fry till the keerai wilts and is almost cooked. Take a dosa pan and make small thick dosas using regular dosa batter and spread this mixture on top and cook on both sides. Serve it with chutney of your choice….

4. Ponnaganni Keerai Soup For Body Pain:

This comforting ponnanganni keerai soup is the best home remedy for body pain and is ideal for convalescents. It is also very easy to make and if you have boiled toor dhal water, it  can be made in 10 to 15 minutes. I usually don’t like soups that are thickened with cornflour, instead I like boiled lentil water as a soup thickener.

It is very nutritious and at the same time, it is very light and nice. Boil toor dhal like I mentioned above and strain the water alone separately and use the dhal for making kootu. To make the soup, heat few drops of ghee in a pan and fry the finely cut ponnanganni keerai till it wilts. Add the strained toor dhal water along with required amount of salt. Now take cumin seeds, garlic and pepper in a mortar and pestle and pound it coarsely.

Take the pounded ingredients in a small spice bag (you can also tie the mixture in a clean muslin cloth) and drop it in the soup. Let the soup boil till the leaves are cooked and thickens a bit. Remove the spice bag and serve. You have made one of the healthiest, easiest and tastiest soup on earth 🙂

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26 Comments

  1. Anonymous
    April 16, 2015 / 3:48 am

    "regular intake prevents anemia"in future please list other foods that can prevent it

  2. Anonymous
    April 16, 2015 / 11:05 am

    Hi Ramaya I was since long trying to find the answer to this weed. It grows abduntly here in Gujarat. How do I send you a pic to confirm this here? I am so verrrrrry happy to see this post. Bless. Ekta.

    • Ramya Venkateshwaran
      April 17, 2015 / 9:41 am

      Ekta, I am happy that you can find this plant in your place. If you are in face book, you can send it through message box, I am waiting eagerly to see the picture….:)

    • Anonymous
      April 18, 2015 / 11:26 am

      Ramya i dried mangoes and ginger the way you told to dry amala. Turned out very good. right now with the sun they dry in a day. I add turmeric too to it. Thanks. I am only on yahoo. will have to log on to husbands facebook and so will do it when he has time. got lots of pics for you. i saw monkeys eating Giloy and something weed … will send you the pic for it. bless. ekta

  3. Anonymous
    August 4, 2015 / 1:32 am

    Thanks for compaliation…

  4. Shivam Achari
    December 23, 2015 / 1:37 pm

    Where from I can get that plant

    • Ramya Venkateshwaran
      December 25, 2015 / 3:29 am

      Ponnanganni keerai is sold in the vegetable shops in most of the towns, ask for it…

  5. Anonymous
    December 30, 2015 / 10:05 am

    Are there many varieties among ponnankani keerai?Because at madurai they generally sell about five different keerai whose leaves are entirely different in shape and length, and they call it as ponnankanni itself.. And this one showed in this page is also different from them.. Im confused ..pls clear me..

    • Ramya Venkateshwaran
      January 15, 2016 / 12:15 pm

      Here in my place we get 2 varieties one is nattu ponnanganni variety (it is green color, the one I have shown) and the other is seemai ponnanganni variety, it is slightly pink….

  6. Anonymous
    April 12, 2016 / 2:49 pm

    Great information. My dad used to grow this keerai with stem cuttings in chennai. Are seeds available ? Please let me know. Thanks!!

    • Ramya Venkateshwaran
      May 30, 2016 / 12:19 am

      You can try for ponnanganni seeds in local plant nurseries or seed shops, usually the seeds are stocked…

  7. kruttika naik
    September 1, 2016 / 4:32 pm

    In Wikipedia they say one of the uses is to induce abortion… Im pregnant n Ive had it regularly now for sometime… Any clue what ayurvedic or sidhha medicine says about eating it in pregnancy?

  8. kruttika naik
    September 1, 2016 / 4:33 pm

    Is it safe during pregnancy?

  9. kruttika naik
    September 1, 2016 / 4:40 pm

    In Wikipedia they say one of the uses is to induce abortion… Im pregnant n Ive had it regularly now for sometime… Any clue what ayurvedic or sidhha medicine says about eating it in pregnancy?

    • Ramya Venkateshwaran
      September 3, 2016 / 8:58 am

      Hi Kruttika, This information actually confused me too because even I used to have ponnanganni when I was pregnant and none of my elders mentioned about it causing abortion. Even when I was doing the research for this plant, though many journals referred it as an aboritfacient, I couldn't spot a single research that did an exclusive study on the abortifacient properties and the dosage it caused abortion. Also some claim that it is confused with Alternanthera Philoxeroides for inducing abortion as some tribal community use it (even for that plant, the extract was not used internally, the stick was used externally and even to read about the method made me shiver)….

  10. Anonymous
    September 6, 2016 / 10:10 am

    Hi mam, I have 3years and 6years old girls,i would like to improve her skin colour.can she take Ponnaganni keerai daily or kindly tell how should we give poonaganni to improve skin colour.

    • Ramya Venkateshwaran
      September 6, 2016 / 3:22 pm

      You can give ponnanganni as often as you can (I couldn't find any side effects for consuming it often) for improving their complexion, just make sure they are not sprayed with pesticides…

    • Anonymous
      September 7, 2016 / 4:57 am

      Mam…How should we give by kootu or soup or dosai

    • Ramya Venkateshwaran
      September 9, 2016 / 3:44 pm

      Though ponnanganni can be had in any form, I would suggest giving in the form of soup as you can make it easily everyday and children will also have it readily too..

  11. Anonymous
    September 8, 2016 / 4:59 am

    Hi mam… How should we give this ponnanganni keeri to children's for improving skin tone (Dosai or kootu or soup)

    • Ramya Venkateshwaran
      September 10, 2016 / 3:14 pm

      Though ponnanganni can be had in any form, I would suggest giving in the form of soup as you can make it easily everyday and children will also have it readily too..

  12. Paru Mais
    October 11, 2016 / 7:18 am

    Rams can male consume ponnanganni for dinner ..pls advice

    • Ramya Venkateshwaran
      November 10, 2016 / 1:11 pm

      Both men & women can consume ponnanganni keerai any time….

  13. Unknown
    April 30, 2017 / 12:42 pm

    Karisalankanni & ponnangani are same ??

    • Ramya Venkateshwaran
      May 7, 2017 / 3:23 pm

      They both are different plants…

  14. Alicia Tracy
    November 24, 2017 / 2:32 am

    As I know, this Ponnanganni Keerai in fact got a lot of names. In medical, some called it Sessile Joyweed. While its common folk name in India is Gudari Saag. Besides, it is also known as Matsyaakshi in Siddha.

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